The Government has announced continued support for the plug-in car grant and the installation of EV home-chargers as it revealed who will receive funding to help develop the next generation of driverless and low-carbon vehicles.
People buying an electric vehicle (EV) will continue to benefit from up to £4,500 off the cost of an ultra-low emission car, up to £2,500 off a hybrid and receive £500 towards the installation of a charge point in their home.
Business secretary Greg Clark and transport minister John Hayes gave their backing to the schemes when awarding £109.7million to 38 automotive research and development (R&D) projects yesterday (Tuesday, April 11).
Hayes said: “This Government is investing £109m to support British businesses in developing innovative, important technologies which will greatly reduce our emissions footprint.
“The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is at record levels and our renewed support for these exciting technologies is yet another significant milestone.”
Seven projects will share grants from the latest round of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the joint industry-Government programme to put the UK at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology.
The projects will be led by BMW, CNH Industrial, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Penso Consulting, Westfield Sportscars and Williams Advanced Engineering.
Successful schemes include:
- The development of a high power battery suitable for high-performance vehicles
- A project to address gaps in and strengthen the UK supply chain
- The development of the fuelling system for a concept gas tractor
- Technologies to reduce the weight and improve electrification in SUV vehicle platforms
A further seven projects have won funding from the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) to advance the development of a range of ultra-low and zero emissions vehicle technologies in the UK. These projects will be led by Equipmake, Ford Motor Company, Great British Sports Cars, Jaguar Land Rover, Ricardo Innovations, Romax Technology and Wrightbus.
Clark said: “The projects being awarded funding today will help extend our excellence in these cutting edge research fields, helping to safeguard jobs while ensuring the UK remains the go-to destination for automotive excellence.”
The Government also announced the first set of winners of the second round of its connected autonomous vehicles competition, CAV2, with projects set to receive a share of up to £31m, match funded by industry.
Twenty-four projects demonstrated clear commercial value and identified technical solutions for CAV technology, including how these vehicles will work within the UK transport system. Further successful projects from this competition round will be announced soon.
Funding is divided into four streams and ideas include projects using cars and pods platooning, or going in formation, to transport passengers from Stockport train station to Manchester Airport, create vehicles capable of driving in a range of road environments and technology which could make any car operate autonomously.
The CAV2 competition includes funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, for 4 one-year research and development projects supporting CAV vehicle developments, specifically in the areas of energy reduction and air quality improvements. The government will launch its third CAV competition, CAV3, to fund further industry-led research and development projects later in the year.
Innovate UK chief executive Ruth McKernan said: “These successful industry-led R&D projects will further spearhead UK development of low emission, and connected and autonomous vehicle technology, building on our world-leading research and innovation capability in this area and the significant strength of UK businesses large and small in this field.”
The announcements follow the launch of the first phase of Government’s £100m CAV test bed programme at the end of March with a competition worth £55m.
In a speech to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Connected Conference in London, the business secretary outlined plans to create a cluster of excellence in CAV testing along the M40 corridor between Birmingham and London.
The test bed programme forms part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy commitment to develop world-class CAV testing infrastructure.
The programme will use some of the UK’s existing CAV testing centres to create a concentrated cluster of testing facilities in the UKs automotive heartland in the West Midlands, including; Coventry, Birmingham, Milton Keynes as well as Oxford and London.